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Consumer Archive

Consumer

Free tools check for dangerous websites

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McLEAN, Va. (12/3/07)--Surfing the Web is risky--click on one corrupt site and sophisticated cyberthieves could hand you a sentence of life with spam and malware. Fortunately, just as we dive into the heaviest online shopping time of the year, free tools are available that take some of the guesswork out of surfing the Net (USA Today Nov. 26). Using color-coded icons, these free products flag search results and rate the safety of websites:
* McAfee Site Advisor. The color-coded search results are based on automated safety tests combined with feedback from volunteer reviewers. A red icon warns you the site may contain spyware, spam, viruses, or online scams. A yellow icon indicates the site is questionable. And a green icon indicates the site is clean. Mouse over the icon for more details. * Scandoo. The analysis is less detailed than that of Site Advisor, and it won’t block sites that are questionable, but Scandoo’s advantage is that you can flag sites using one of 26 different Web category filters, such as nudity (pcworld.com).
Jason Masterson, information technology analyst at Credit Union National Association, Madison, Wis., leans toward McAfee Site Advisor. “It can be used as a ‘browser plug-in,’ and it integrates well with both Internet Explorer and Firefox,” he said. For more information, read, “Stay Safe When Shopping Online” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.